Penn State Data Management Plan Tutorial

Data Management Plan Tutorial

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Welcome to the University Libraries Data Management Plan overview! In this tutorial, you will learn what a data management plan is, why it is useful, and how to write a plan that provides the information funding agencies are seeking from researchers.

In January 2011 the National Science Foundation began requiring researchers applying for funding from the agency to include a data management plan (DMP) with their grant applications. Since that time the Penn State Libraries have been consulting with researchers on developing sound plans to support data collection and lifecycle management of research data for the proposed projects.

This tutorial is designed to help Penn State faculty, students, and staff involved in grant proposal writing to understand what a DMP is, what it enables for a research project, what goes into a DMP, and how to think through some of the issues that can emerge with data - such as security and protections for restricted data, as well as storage and preservation of data. Running throughout the tutorial is the scenario of a graduate student assisting a faculty member in writing a data management plan.

This scenario-based tutorial consists of modules that provide context and information for each component of a DMP; video interviews with researchers and an archivist who talk about real-world data management challenges; and readings and other resources on data management to inform faculty and students further in the development of their plans.

Scrabble game tiles laid out on a table with some spelling the word data
Scrabble Game
Credit: justgrimes on flickr. CC BY-SA 2.0


The authors of this tutorial would like to thank our colleagues below for their generous time and participation in creating the video interviews, through which they offered valuable insight and experience:

Dr. Andrew Stephenson, Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Education, Eberly College of Science

Dr. Alfred Travers, Curator of the Penn State Herbarium

Ben Goldman, Digital Archivist, Penn State University Libraries